Price freeze on slopes


Queenstown skifields hold earlybird rates as recession bites.

Queenstown’s two skifields have frozen the price of earlybird season passes for the first time in five years.

A range of discount offers for Coronet Peak and The Remark­ables are available online from today until March 12.

The Queenstown pass, for those who ski or ride mostly in the Wakatipu, remains unchanged at $699 for an adult.
A student pass is $599, while youths (7-17) and seniors (65-74) pay $399, all also un­­­changed from 2008.

NZSki marketing boss David Ovendale admits the economic downturn has had an influence on the freeze.

“We’re trying, fundamentally, to keep it attainable for Kiwis particularly,” he says.

“But also it’s recognition that we’re a discretionary spend.

“It’s a recognition that times are different from what they were this time a year ago – the economic climate is different.”

A range of new deals and offers are also being aimed at locals.

For the first time, a Remarkables Pass is available. It costs $399 during the earlybird period and proof of Queenstown-Lakes residency will be required.

“We’re delighted to offer a Remarks-only pass to local people,” says Ovendale.

“The Remarkables is a fantastic environment for families and this price, combined with free day lift tickets for those aged 10 and under, means skiing or riding is an accessible activity for families.

“You would be surprised how many locals don’t ski or ride.”

Also new this year is a Queenstown transport add-on. It offers unlimited transport to and from the Queenstown Snow Cen­­­tre to The Remarkables and Coronet Peak at $195 for the season.

And for the third year in a row, an earlybird payment option allows people to pay for passes in three instalments.

For those likely to ski or board at Canterbury’s Mt Hutt as well, the price of an earlybird three-mountain pass also remains unchanged, at $899 for an adult, $799 for stu­dents with youths and seniors at $599.

An extra $35 administration fee will apply to people who don’t book online, and passes also include discounts at other ski areas in New Zealand and overseas.

When earlybird offers expire on March 12, prices will increase to shoulder-season deals between March 13-June 5, followed by full-price main season rates. 


No bargains on TradeMe

Snowsport lovers gambling on making big savings by bidding for earlybird Queenstown passes on TradeMe failed to make any real gains due to this year’s price freeze – at least one punter also paid over the odds.

In recent times, season passes had steadily increased in cost and last year jumped by $50 from 2007 prices.

In anticipation of another hike, hundreds of bids were made on TradeMe after 10 Queenstown passes for local fields Coronet Peak and The Remarkables were listed by NZSki last Thursday – with a reserve of just 1c.

By yesterday afternoon, someone had bid $700 – more than the $699 earlybird adult price.

Others had submitted offers of just a few dollars below the official cost – at page deadline, the cheapest TradeMe bid you could make for a pass to ski or board in Queenstown was $670.